Course Description: This course is designed to introduce the beginning fiction writer to the craft of fiction writing, with an emphasis on the literary short story. We will be studying a wide range of published stories from the Charters book as well as examining the students' own work. Everyone is expected to read, write comments on, and discuss in depth each story that passes through the workshop.
Requirements: You will be required to write two complete short stories, approximately 25-30 pages of fiction, and submit them to the workshop. In addition, you will read and annotate copies of the stories that are to be workshopped and write a one-page critique in preparation for class discussion. These will be collected by the instructor and are an important part of your grade. You will be expected to participate fully in class discussions of workshopped stories and assigned readings—this, too, is a big percentage of your grade. You will be required to read assigned stories and chapters in the Hills text. You will also be responsible for discussion of assigned published stories, and come to class with a written question on the story for discussion. You are expected to meet with your instructor in office hours to discuss work that hasn’t been workshopped.
All stories submitted to the workshop must be cleanly typed, double-spaced and stapled. NO LATE WORK WILL BE ACCEPTED. At the end of the semester you will be asked to turn in a portfolio consisting of all the work you have done for the class, including story responses, exercises and the required two stories, along with a complete revision of one of those stories. DO NOT THROW ANY WORK AWAY THAT YOU DO FOR THIS CLASS OR YOUR GRADE MAY BE AFFECTED.
Attendance: English 303 is a writing workshop, and in order to “workshop” you must be present. Attendance is mandatory and will figure into your final grade. If you have other commitments during class time that may result in absences, this may not be the semester to take this class. MORE THAN TWO ABSENCES WILL RESULT IN A LOWERING OF YOUR GRADE. MORE THAN THREE LATENESSES WILL BE COUNTED AS AN ABSENCE. Grading: Original Work 40%
Original work will be assessed holistically—after both stories and one revision have been turned in—on my assessment of your grasp of basic fictional elements, style, structure, narrative technique, etc. Critiques will be graded with a check, check plus or check minus grade. Story questions will be given credit/no credit
Workshopping: By the second or third week of class you will begin to submit your stories to the workshop. Two stories a session will be discussed. No more than fifteen pages may be turned in to any one workshop. Please do not ask for an exception to be made – it won’t. You must have your stories finished and copied and distributed to the class at least a week before your story is discussed. You will be “up” in workshop at least twice during the semester. You may have the opportunity to go up three times.